One of my favorite subjects in college was Human Anatomy. I found it fascinating and was in awe of how each part of our body has a specific function. But when portions of our bodies are out of shape, damaged, or missing, it cannot function at 100%. A close friend recently challenged me to figure out a way to improve my physical health (after I confessed, I was not taking care of myself very well) to love and serve my family and others better. The same thing can happen to the body of Christ.
We are the body of Christ, and each of you is an essential member of St. Peter’s. And as Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 12:18, “in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” Isn’t that amazing!
For St. Peter’s to function as God intended, we need every member to be as healthy as possible. In turn, we will have to intentionally find ways to use our bodies to serve our Lord and others. Jesus said, “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”…”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” is the greatest commandment. Have you ever considered what that requires? One thing is for sure if your heart, mind, soul, and body are not functioning well, it will impact how you love God and others. Let me recommend some simple ways to improve the health of your heart, mind, soul, and body.
Spend more time renewing your mind by reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture. I’ve used the practice of Lectio Divina to help me over the years. The Holy Spirit takes the truths we read in Scripture to align our hearts’ desires with our Lord’s.
Caring for our souls (inner self) requires spiritual exercises like the confession of sin, seeking healing of hurts, forgiving others, etc. If neglected, it can lead to bitterness, depression, and anger. Since our physical health affects our mental and spiritual health, we need to keep our bodies in optimal condition. A good diet, regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep is usually all that is necessary. When we are mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy, our ability to serve God and others, the way He has gifted and called us to, will be possible.
Serving God and others isn’t an option as a follower of Jesus– he came to serve not to be served. For many of us, this will require sitting down with our calendar to create space and time to do our part. When we make serving God a priority, we usually will find a way to serve.
Let’s make it a priority to take care of ourselves and find ways to serve God and others; so that we can accomplish the good works and mission Jesus has given his body. And let’s do it all for the glory of our wonderful God!
Grace, Peace, and Love,